The signature Cabernet Sauvignon of Vasse Felix. Crafted from Vasse Felix's premier sections of Wilyabrup Cabernet, with the finest gravel loam soils, best clone, aspect and access to the cooling ocean breeze. It was the first red wine produced in Margaret River and has been made every year since 1972. This wine's distinctive style possesses all the hallmarks of the finest Wilyabrup Cabernet.
2017 was a cooler and later vintage than the previous 10 years; a year of elegant, perhaps slightly lighter bodied wines, though ripe in flavour, vibrant and very perfumed. Higher than average yields in combination with a cooler season contributed to delayed ripening of the fruit and good acid retention. Some timely warmth and sunshine occurred throughout January, although February temperatures remained moderate with some rainfall. With the cooler weather, canopy management and fruit thinning was imperative to mitigate disease pressures and allow for even, persistent ripening. There was a warm start to March to finish the white harvest, followed by the driest April since 1982, finishing the reds beautifully.
Excellent - Langton's Classification VII
The historic, estate-grown Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon is the bellwether champion of the Margaret River region. Vasse Felix made the first cabernet sauvignon in Margaret River in 1972, and this wine has been made every year since. Comprised of cabernet sauvignon (88%) based primarily on Houghton clone material, this blend also often includes merlot, petit verdot or cabernet franc. Traditionally vinified and matured in new (40-55%) and seasoned French barriques for 16 to 18 months, it is an intensely fragrant style with blackcurrant, cedar and herb garden aromas, generous flavours and fine-grained tannins.
Winemaker Virginia Willcock seems unable to make a false step with cabernet: this wine regularly punches above its weight. It has a deep red/purple colour and aromas of crushed leaf, berries, violets and cedar. Intense and very lively in the mouth, with authoritative cabernet structure and ageing potential, yet it’s delicious now.
"..the wine delivers in a classic Cabernet kind of way. It’s not big, bold and showy – far from it. It’s taut, sinewy and firm like an olympic gymnast with lots of gravelly, blackcurrant fruits with that dried herb and sage edge. A bit shy now and made for the long haul but concentrated and structural – it will sing over time."